Canaletto [key], 1697–1768, Venetian painter, whose original name was Antonio Canal. He studied with his father, Bernardo Canal, a theatrical scene painter, and spent several years in Rome. Returning to Venice, he devoted himself to painting the linear, dramatic, and topographically accurate Venetian scenes upon which his fame chiefly rests. From 1746 to 1755 he lived in England and produced many fine landscapes, notably those of Eton College. He painted series of picturesque views for English collectors, one of which is in the collection of the Duke of Bedford. Canaletto is unsurpassed as an architectural painter. His works are finely detailed yet delicate and airy. Among his notable works are View on the Grand Canal and Regatta on the Grand Canal (National Gall., London); Church of Santa Maria Della Salute (Louvre); View of Venice (Uffizi); and The Piazzetta, Venice (Metropolitan Mus.). He was a master draftsman and produced many superb drawings and etchings that were not preparatory but complete in themselves. Examples of Canaletto's works are in the major European and American collections. His nephew and pupil, Bernardo Bellotto, was also called Canaletto.
See studies by V. Moschini (tr. 1956) and W. G. Constable (1961, 2d ed. rev. 1989).
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